East Fife 3-1 Livingston

Kevin Smith battles for possession as the Fifers turn the screw. Picture by G McLuskie.
Kevin Smith battles for possession as the Fifers turn the screw. Picture by G McLuskie.

East Fife showed they're more than a match for any League One side with this convincing win over Livi.

David Hopkin's side are fully expected to be up there challenging for the title when the season nears its end.

They're full time and have spent the majority of their recent past playing at a higher level than their current League One status.

On the other hand you have East Fife, a club which has spent the past few season scratching around at the foot of the Scottish domestic game.

But this game, and last week at Airdrie, show the Bayview club has now fully moved on to a completely different level.

Competing against sides such as Airdrie, Alloa and Livingston is where the club is currently at and at Bayview on Saturday they proved why.

Livingston have started the season well and went into the game joint top of the league, no doubt seeing a visit to the division's new boys as an ideal chance to push their title case on even further.

It was simply never going to happen because they came up against a steely East Fife playing with so much self confidence and belief in itself.

From the first whistle they were at it.

Mark Lamont passed up a chance to break the deadlock when the ball was fed out to him after Liam Kelly had been unable to bring a halt to a direct move through the heart of the Livi defence.

But the score would only be level for a matter of moments after that.

East Fife played route one football at its most effective and in a swirling Bayview wind a long clearance from Mark Hurst was picked up by Insall who lobbed Kelly.

The striker made the finish look easy - but it was no doubt anything but.

It summed up the current level of confidence at East Fife and rather than sit back on their lead, they went out to add to it.

The second came from an unlikely source, defender Chris Kane.

Kevin Smith was the creator sending a cross into the box which Kane had time to drill past Kelly.

The Livi supporters were stunned, accusing their side of ball watching, no doubt unfamiliar with seeing the Lions tamed in such a manner.

And it didn't stop.

Insall grabbed his second and the game's third when he raced in on Kelly's goal to challenge for a Smith free-kick.

Kelly went up with the Fife striker but was unable to pluck the ball from the air.

Instead it fell kindly to Insall who picked his spot in an empty net.

There's no doubt Livingston are not as bad as East Fife were making them look and in the second half they looked a completely different side, showing an urgency which had been missing in the first.

They pulled one back when Liam Buchanan found Josh Mullin a couple of yards from goal.

His counter made the game interesting and the Methil men were made to show real character to defend a heavy spell of Livingston pressure.

But defend it they did, and in the closing stages the win became a formality when Mikey Miller and then Alan Lithgow were shown straight red cards.

Bayview boss Gary Naysmith said: “I’m delighted.

“My team talk before the game was for the players to believe they could win because I believed it.

“Livingston had been on a great run and had won five of their last six games but I knew if we got on the front foot we’d win."